Food or Fuel?

Last year the Oregon legislature passed three bills (HB 2210, 2211 and 2212) to subsidize and to provide incentives to Oregonians to produce biofuels. Promotion of homegrown ethanol and similar biofuels was seen as an answer to high global oil prices and supply worries. The Oregon Environmental Council predicted 100 million gallons would be produced annually by the year 2010.

Now, a brewing world food crisis has hit the headlines. World food prices have increased 75% since 2000. One of the root causes for this spike in food prices is thought to be the high demand for food crops to convert into biofuels.

The U.S. heavily subsidizes the production of corn-based ethanol, generating a huge biofuels industry here. The massive volume of corn required by the ethanol industry is sending shock waves throughout the world food production system. Expanding corn crops are cutting into the acreage used for other food crops like soybeans. Soon, corn will compete for land with wheat, as well.

Many proponents of biofuels may not have foreseen the fuel-versus-food competition. But now that food prices have become an issue of global concern, the least the U.S. and state governments can do is to cancel subsidies that artificially prop up the biofuels industry. This is one area where a reversal of government policy truly could help ease the pressure on food prices.


Sreya Sarkar is Director of the Oregon Asset Policy Initiative at Cascade Policy Institute, Oregon’s free market think tank.

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  • Jerry

    The food shortages, and make no mistake, they are caused by the bio-fuel madness, are only another in a very, very long string of unintended consequences from the far left. But their intentions were good, so why be critical? They must be feeling very good about themselves now because they thought they were doing “good things”.

  • Jason W.

    Well the issue alos made the front page of my newspaper this morning. Most interesting is the fact that Oregon is trying to be a leader in ethanol right when this backlash is happening.

    Seems like this may not have been thought through.

  • DIAN

    Yes, but you know scientist Kulongski and his cronies know its the right thing to do anyway. They are a joke and not a very funny one.

  • Rupert in Springfield

    You know, when someone gives a new, peppy, kind of name to something that already has a name in order to sell it to you, something is usually awry. The bio fuels mess is no different. Now, of course I might have a leg up on some, having a fair amount of connection to the South. There it was never called “bio fuels”. It was simply called “runnin’ a stil”

    The “runin’ a stil” aspect of this always struck me as a little weird. It makes no sense at all. I mean, turning corn into alcohol isn’t exactly new technology. Why has it had to be subsidized so heavily for decades? Are they reinventing fire? Fermentation or condenser coils? Its not like they have to advertise, this crap is mandated. So why in the world the subsidy? Ill tell you why:

    Watering down gas, with scotch, is stupid. If you didn’t know the thing you are watering down with, has to be cheaper than the thing you are watering down, your stupid.

    Now if’n y’all didn’t know that, this is one of the reasons Southerners tend to think that Yankees have a lot of high falootin’ ideas but not a lot of common sense.

    The other thing that always bugged me was the inconsistency of bio fuels proponents. When Bob Dole ran the Senate, he was constantly ridiculed for being Mr. Ethanol, a reference to the huge subsidies he got for ADM to produce this stuff under another Carters era relic – the alcohol for fuel tax credit. Somehow when Bob Dole was doing it, it was what it was: Corporate Welfare. Now? Its yet another “but we only had the best of intentions no its not Corporate Welfare if its something we like” rat hole.

    I’ve got a better idea, why don’t we just drill for oil? Seems like they are making a record new find every day. Seems like a cheap very efficient fuel.

    Why not build some nuclear plants? Seems like they have less problems than most thought.

    Why not unlock some of the low sulpher coal locked up by Clinton by his use of the antiquities act?

  • Rupert in Springfield

    >Many proponents of biofuels may not have foreseen the fuel-versus-food competition.

    Oh my….oh my….but we only had the best of intentions….Oh my you cant blame us. – We have to go to Starbuck and sit down with a nice latte and think this through. I’ve got it! “Oh yeah, well, who knows if bio fuels caused the food mess, but what about all the lives lost in Iraq? Huh? Huh?””

    Ill blame ya, ya idj-e-ut. Everyone and their brother was tellin ya how much corn it takes to make a gallon of shine.

    The United States grows 40% of the worlds corn.

    30% of that has been diverted to ethanol

    What part of the pie chart did you miss that made you think this wouldn’t affect prices?

    If you didn’t “foresee the fuel vs. food competition” did you also happen to not “foresee” a mule kick in the head a few years back. That’s the only explanation I have for someone not “foreseeing” this idiocy.

  • dean

    Its not true that “environmentalists” are the ones behind using corn to produce ethanol. https://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=7430785

    The Sierra Club, Natural Resources Defence Council, and Worldwatch have all been supporters of *cellulosic* ethanol, but have cautioned against corn based ethanol. The subsidies behind corn based ethanol are courtesy of both conservative and liberal politicians of the grain belt states as a way to prop up their overly corn dependent economies.

    The rising price of oil and fertilizers, the decline of the dollar, and the increased wealth of China and India (resulting in more money to spend on meat,) all are driving food prices up. Eliminate ethanol subsidies and the rest of these problems do not go away. And by the way, feeding corn to cattle is about as dumb as feeding corn to ethanol plants.

    Rupert…as I’ve pointed out before, the US lacks enough reserves of oil to drill our way out of this, and what oil we do have left lies below places that people, including high ranking Republicans, don’t want drilled. Increased nuclear energy would do squat to help with reducing our reliance on oil unless we convert our transportation system to electric (not a bad idea). More coal is probably the worst of all alternatives available to us. It is short term cheap but long term very expensive. Fools gold.

    • John in Oregon

      I agree its cool to recycle farm waste for alcohol production. BUT that’s a technology that doesn’t exist yet.

      So, if as you say, the environmentalists are NOT GUILTY, “(t)he Sierra Club, Natural Resources Defence (sic) Council, and Worldwatch” testified before the Oregon Legislature in opposition to the Oregon ethanol mandates exactly WHEN?

      Dean, your contention is the “the US lacks enough reserves of oil to drill our way out of this”. It seems to me I remember someone famous saying that. Oh I know, he wore a sweater, sat in front of a fire and told us the future was over for the United States. Funny, it seems to me someone else had a different idea and helped the United States to drive the price of oil down to $10 per barrel by the mid 80’s. Jimmy served one term and the “actor” served two, wonder why?

      So lets test the assertion of no new reserves idea with some FACTS, shall we. Lets see;

      The Bakken Formation, 200 billion barrel reserve
      Alaska 50 billion barrels
      Tupi, 33 billion barrels
      The lower tertiary trend, 15 billion barrels
      Florida off shore currently being drilled and pumped by the Chinese
      Colorado, where new technology is cleaner than conventional drilling, generates the highest grade of light-sweet crude oil which burns cleaner than other varieties and is profitable with oil just north of $30 a barrel. And its larger than all of the Middle East.

      That’s 6 new untapped reserves and 5 of those in the good old USA.

      Guess we have to just get used to the idea that gloom and doom is all we can see for the future.

  • Bad Boy Brown

    As I understand it, there is also a less than eco-friendly result from the burned ethanol as well. Apparently it results in additional toxic substances in the exhaust of vehicles burning ethanol. Way to go Bowling Ball Brain Ted!

  • Bob Clark

    Ethanol is going to flat line at 3 to 5% of gasoline, and it’s going to continue to be corn based. Ethanol at 3 to 5% does the job of an oxygenate that its predecessor MTBE did. But beyond this level, ethanol is a loser especially in Oregon. This is because Oregon has to import the corn to make ethanol some 2,000 miles via diesel burning railroad systems. Other negative attributes, ethanol is a drag on fuel efficiency of automobiles and trucks because it burns at a higher level of compression than gasoline. On top of this, ethanol has only about 80% the energy content per gallon of pure gasoline, resulting in more stops for refill at gasoline stations. Bottom line: ethanol may have no net energy gain at all, especially for Oregon.

    Cellulosic ethanol is still in the research lab, and could be decades, if ever, before it is feasible. But hey this is Oregon where perceptions are more important than reality when it comes to politics.

    The solution is to support additional domestic oil drilling. There is still a lot of oil although conventional oil supplies may be nearing a peak. Improving fuel efficiency will also be a big help. Lastly, nuclear power generation should be expanded. Even so, it will take decades for nuclear power generation to make a dent in replacing oil energy. So, Demos stop telling OPEC to increase their supplies as you work to frustrate domestic oil drilling activity.

  • Rupert in Springfield

    >The Sierra Club, Natural Resources Defence Council, and Worldwatch have all been supporters of cellulosic ethanol

    Oh, that’s good, switch grass et. al Well, I guess that removes to food issue, if one makes the insane leap to think that if we stopped subsidizing corn ethanol, and started subsidizing switch grass, all the farmers wouldn’t simply stop growing corn, and start growing switch grass, with the same net result.

    >Rupert…as I’ve pointed out before, the US lacks enough reserves of oil to drill our way out of this

    Not true. Your information is out of date. There is enough oil in just the gulf and ANWAR to totally eliminate imports from the middle east. With recent new discoveries seeming to be announced weekly, if even half of them pan out the proposition that we cant “drill our way out of this” is more liberal boiler plate than anything else.

    Just to head you off at the pass pardner – the fact that Jeb Bush stopped drilling off of Florida, has no bearing whatsoever on whether or not there is oil there. The Body count in Iraq doesn’t either, nor does Halliburton, Cheney, No Justice No Peace.

    >More coal is probably the worst of all alternatives available to us. It is short term cheap but long term very expensive. Fools gold.

    Not true. Coal is worse than nuclear, but not a bad option, providing you are burning low sulpher coal. Long term, fairly inexpensive, it requires little new technology to implement. The only real reason for any initial expense is because environmental regulations forced coal plants to pollute as much as possible. Those regulations, forced a coal plant to entirely upgrade in one shot, if they did any expansion at all. Thus they did nothing. Bush tried to make these regulations a little more reasonable, and I think was partly successful. However, if there are complaints about the dirtiness of coal plants, they should be laid squarely at the feet of the environmental movement as they are responsible for virtually all of it. From locking up our nations only source of low sulpher coal, to insisting on regulations that kept coal plants as dirty as possible, to fighting any change in those regulations once it was clear they hadn’t worked as intended.

    • dean

      But coal does not substitute for oil. It is an electricity generator. And it is by far the worst of the worst with respect to carbon emissions, low sulpher or not. The long term expense of coal is in atmospheric carbon accumulation and eventual evacuation and resettlement of Bangladesh, Shanghai, the Netherlands, 2/3 of Florida, and much of our eastern seaboard. I know you dismiss this eventuality, but fortunately you are in an increasingly shrinking minority opinion.

      Let’s assume Jeb Bush, Gordon Smith, and all those other whacky fanatical environmentalists go away and open up the Forida gulf and Alaska to oil drilling. How long before the oil comes on line? How long before it runs out? And where do we drill next? US oil production has been in decline since the 1970s, and its not like they have not been looking for the stuff all this time. Where are all these “new discoveries” you keep mentioning? Oil hit $120 a barrel yesterday so it is looking like high price is going to fix the problem if we don’t mind our economy going down a good bit to balance supply and demand. Not a good time to invest in long distance trucking by the way.

      To the extent corn fields are converted to switch grass, you are right that the end result would still be less corn available to eat. But growing less corn is going to happen no matter what. It is far too artificial nutrient (natural gas) and water dependent, and too soil depleting for Midwestern farmers to keep growing it on the scale they have been, no matter whether it is for vegetatrians, tortillas, feedlots, ethanol plants, or coca cola (high fructose corn syrup). Corn is an over capitalized, agri-business dead end. 2/3 or more of the production is for animal feed and is not necessary nor healthy. Cattle and sheep are designed by nature to eat greens, not grain.

      You grant “environmentalists” increadible power by the way. Bush was able to persuade the nation to start an unecesary, unfunded, and very costly war but he could not talk us into making it easier to mine coal? Because of Utah environmentalists? Please.

      • dmf

        dean as somebody who spent a large part of life in the Wyoming desert. I can tell you there are wells capped off all over the state. This came abut when the environmentslists tried to save everything. The oil is still there just waiting to be used.

      • John in Oregon

        Lets test those premises with facts.

        Assertion: “The US has less than 21 billion barrels of proven oil reserves, which includes ANWAR the Florida gulf and whatever has been left in the ground in Wyoming.”

        Fact: The Bakken Formation, South Dakota, approximately 200 billion barrel reserve (latest information).

        The assertion is FALSE.

        Assertion: ANWR was the last major find in the US (1970)

        Fact:
        The Bakken Formation, South Dakota, approximately 200 billion barrel reserve.
        The lower tertiary trend, 15 billion barrels.
        Colorado, larger than the Middle East.

        Again, the assertion is FALSE

        • jim karlocik

          The peak oil nuts will not believe you until you produce a peer reviewed soiurce for that.

          What is the best source for that information? (I have seen the NYT article a few weeks ago).

          Thanks
          JK

          • John in Oregon

            Yeah I know what you mean about peer review. Bill Bradbury and Al Gore, both politicians are experts. While any research which brings new questions about the CO2 warming link are shouted down with PEER REVIEW. And, peer reviewed research is simply ignored as the work of deniers.

            I guess that’s why the latest IPCC report excluded peer reviewed science done after 2004. Could that be because the most current research is finding more and more problems with the CO2 hypothesis? The IPCC just cant let anything get in the way of the global warming agenda.

            Ohhh, sorry its not global warming any more, the new battle cry is now Climate Change.

            A good resource on the Dakota fields is Kiplinger “The U.S. Poised to hit New Oil Gusher” and Next energy news “Massive Oil Deposit Could Increase US reserves by 10x”

            Fortunately the energy companies don’t look to peers or politicians to decide. They vote with greenbacks, real money, hard earned investment money.

            The real excitement tho is the new shale extraction technologies. The money boys are moving conservatively for obvious reasons. I did notice that the Royal Dutch Shell approach is a new application of existing and understood technology so the odds seem very good.

  • John Fairplay

    If you think environmentalists don’t have a huge amount of power over the agenda in Washington, DC, you don’t know anything about how Congress works. Just in my lifetime, they have successfully lobbied Congress to shut down the timber industry in the Pacific Northwest, killed the fishing industry, prevented new oil refineries, stopped nuclear power plant construction, prevented offshore oil drilling and oil drilling in ANWAR, driven up the cost of all types of energy through advocacy of federal and state regulation and for subsidies for inefficient, destructive “green” energy sources – I mean, the list could literally go on forever. Environmental groups and those that support them are the single largest impediment to earning a living in this country.

    • dmf

      What I don’t understand is why people don’t, can’t or won’t understand that. Since the environmental movement started, they have done more damage than good. Yes they have done some good, but it pales in comparison

      • dean

        Reality check.

        The US has less than 21 billion barrels of proven oil reserves, which includes ANWAR the Florida gulf and whatever has been left in the ground in Wyoming. In 1970 we had 39 billion barrels, and the trend is still downward. We have enough total proven reserves (80% certainty) to cover 3 years of US oil consumption if we drill it all and take it out now.

        ANWR was the last major find in the US (1970). We have drilled 2.3 million wells since around 1950. And essentially, there is nothing left unexplored here. The Bakken formation under Montana might add 3 billion barrels to our stash, which is only a token of what we need. There will be some new fields here and there, but not likely of any significance. It has nothing to do with environmentalists. It has to do with geology and the fact that we sucked ours out first.

        Where is the oil? 2/3 is under the deserts of the Middle East, a lot is fortunately in Canada (though this is expensive to recover Alberta tar sands,) the rest in Russia, Nigeria, Venezuala, and so forth. We just don’t have it, and it defies reality to think otherwise folks. New discoveries are going to be on ocean floors, very expensive to get at and maintain.

        Be nice to the Saudis is our best hope until we figure something else out.

        • Anonymous

          I think you need a reality check

          • dean

            John in Oregon: According to the United States Geological Survey (a more reliable source than liberal Dean,) the Bakken formation has an estimated 3.5-4 billion barrels of *recoverable* oil. https://www.usgs.gov/newsroom/article.asp?ID=1911&from=rss_home.

            There is a lot more oil in the Bakken locked up in dense, not porous rock that can’t or won’t be squeezed out. So your 200 billion barrel figure is meaningless to the oil industry and our gas guzzling economy. An interesting discussion of the geology of the Bakken is available at: https://www.theoildrum.com/node/3868

            This is the largest known deposit of oil in the lower 48. The next largest is in Texas, at only 1 billion barrels.

            Colorado has oil shale….not liquid oil. We have already been down that road under the Carter Administration.

            The tertiary formation in the gulf is way way deep and there is a lot of doubt about how much can be gotten out. It illustrates the dilemna we are in as we go deeper and deeper for less and less.

            Wishful thinking is not a strategy.

          • John in Oregon

            I like old news as much as the next guy. Your report is just that, old news. The updated USGS report will be out next month.

            Today’s news is the Bakken Formation, *North Dakota.*
            Source:
            Kiplinger “The U.S. Poised to hit New Oil Gusher”
            Kiplingers conservative quote is 100 Billion Barrels
            Next energy news “Massive Oil Deposit Could Increase US reserves by 10x”
            Next energy news quote is 175 to 500 Billion Barrels.

            200 Billion Barrels seems a reasonable compromise between low and high estimates. But then I suppose you know best. The oil can’t be recovered. And Marathon Oil is investing billions and drilling 300 new wells because they are what? Stupid?

            Far be it for me to quote Carter as an authority on anything. Carter notwithstanding, Royal Dutch/Shell (RDS) has filed the largest patent application in U.S. history for an in site retort system. Colorado demonstration well to follow. The system is not fully proven, yet. So that’s why no firm proven reserve numbers at present.
            Source:
            The Weekly Standard, “The End of Peak Oil?”
            But then the Standard is a conservative publication, move along folks, nothing to see here.

            You could look up what the Rand Corporation has to say. Bottom line tho is that if the RDS technology works then “everything we know about the geopolitics of oil is about to go out the window: ”

            Which would you like to choose? Carter’s doom and gloom or that old actors vision of the bright future of the United States?

            And isnt it interesting that Brazil is soon to be an OIL exporter. You know, crude oil, black gold. They are swimming in ethanol now, but the ethanol tariff insures that corn will go in my gas tank.

            Of course the point of the original article was the Food for Oil stupidity.

          • Chris McMullen

            I can’t wait to read the resident Marxist’s upcoming back-tracking, circular reasoning and piffle in response to your post….

  • cc

    “But coal does not substitute for oil. It is an electricity generator.”

    Another “ex cathedra” pronouncement from the mighty OZ.

    You might study Germany’s war effort in WWII. Even with mid-20th century technology, they made oil from coal. As usual, though, this reality doesn’t intrude on your worst-case, Luddite scenarios which conveniently leave out modern scrubbers and other pollution-control technology.

    As always, your logic is unassailable – so long as we accept your panoply of “increadible”, pseudo-scientific premises about coal, corn’s future as a crop, AGW, oil reserves, etc. Technology will never save us. If it’s not politically correct, it’ll never work.

    BTW, where’s Venezuala?

    Please – a “reality check” from dean is NSF.

    • dean

      Unfortunately you can’t crub out the CO2, and the cost of coal to oil conversion is prohibitive. But even assuming global warming is a cruel liberal hoax, wouldn’t it be a wiser investment to build and drive plug-in hybrid electric cars and burn the coal for electricity?

      “The mighty OZ.” I like that. The “Great and Powerful OZ” is even better.

      Technology is going to be the ultimate solution, we agree on that much. The question is which technologies and how quickly we can get them deployed. But yes, if you reject everything I say because I am the one who said it, then not to worry. Party on.

      V-e-n-e-z-u-e-l-a
      Thanks foe the sprell chik

  • cc

    “Unfortunately you can’t crub out the CO2, and the cost of coal to oil conversion is prohibitive. But even assuming global warming is a cruel liberal hoax, wouldn’t it be a wiser investment to build and drive plug-in hybrid electric cars and burn the coal for electricity?”

    Thanks for so concisely illustrating my point(s).

    1) CO2 CAN be removed from coal-burning power plants (https://www.netl.doe.gov/energy-analyses/pubs/v%203%20-%20FINAL%20-%20retrofit_NEMS_exploratory.pdf), it just costs more than NOT doing it. With the amount of coal we have in this country, ignoring its use is just not reasonable.

    2) The cost of coal-to-oil conversion isn’t economical NOW, but blithely dismissing the process as cost-prohibitive is tantamount to saying that it’ll NEVER be economically feasible. That’s for markets and innovation to determine. Whatever the time frames involved, the transition to domestic supply, from whatever source, of oil and gas can’t come too soon for me. Your faith in plug-in hybrids is admirable but no less removed from reality than coal/oil conversion. Sure, when plug-in hybrids are feasible and available at tolerable prices, that’s the answer. But until battery technology improves dramatically (which it certainly will), we need a transition period. This will require exploration and drilling here for what is left, perhaps some biofuels (but NOT crop-based ethanol) and coal/oil conversion.

    AND, I’ve never said “…global warming is a cruel liberal hoax…”. That’s a liberal tactic – characterizing those with whom they disagree as EVIL. I believe that AGW people, in many cases, rushed to judgement or are simply misled or misinformed (primarily by those who either honestly believe in it or those for whom it fits some preconceived political agenda) – or both. Many “believers” are people who have some reputational or economic capital tied up in the whole thing and, like all of us, are unwilling to admit to the possibility that they may be wrong. Toss in the strong inclination of any monolithic group to shun and castigate “heretics” and you have a perfect storm.

    I’ll watch it all play out with some bemusement.

    Finally, I don’t reject everything you say because you said it (however much that dents your ego); I simply subject it to a higher degree of scrutiny because you said it. Nice try, though. Have you stopped beating your wife?

    PS, what’s a “crub”?

    tee hee…

    • dean

      If we can get CO2 “sequestered” while burning coal I am all for it. In fact I have fingers and toes crossed that this will be the best solution out there among all the imperfect ones because coal is so dang abundant. I say Mazeltov.

      Markets and innovations are what the proponents of a cap and trade system are all hoping for and expecting. The key is to start putting a higher price and limits on fossil fuels or CO2. Otherwise we will continue to have a classic “market failure” by externalizing the costs.

      Affordable plug in hybrids appear to be alot closer to reality than most other technological fixes. But we still need low impact electricity generation to make those go. Exploration and drilling domestically takes years if not decades to bring new areas on line, even if we do find them in places we are willing to put at risk.

      I never said “evil.” I was merely being facetious. In my case it took about 10 years of reading, thinking and pondering to “rush to judgement” on global warming, and from what I can tell that seems to be the case for most present “believers.” Yes, once one invests political or economic capital in solving AGW one probably becomes more reluctant to change back, but the same is true for the fossil fuel companies, petroleum gelogists, and their political allies who have resisted AGW because it threatens their stake.

      Which is why it pays to find the most objective sources available, which turns out to be peer reviewed science, because this is a tradition established to separate fact from opinion, church from state. That does not mean peer reviewed science is always or forever right, and it does not mean it does not resist new contradictory findings, but it is our best shot.

      I not only admit the possibility that AGW will turn out wrong, I hope against hope that it does turn out wrong. But like I said, hope is not a good strategy.

      Not married…undentable ego…. but keep trying. I find it amusing.

      A “crub” is a small brackish water crustacean, somewhere between a crab and a snail. It lives in the lower Amazon intertidal zone, and may be endangered due to tropical forest clearing, mining, over harvest (very tasty with garlic butter I hear) and sea level rise. Why do you ask, and what’s so funny about it?

  • Rupert in Springfield

    >The long term expense of coal is in atmospheric carbon accumulation and eventual evacuation and resettlement of Bangladesh

    Oh, ok, I didn’t know the costs you were talking about were the global warming nonsense. Sorry, no point in addressing it really. You are a believer, I’m not.

    >How long before the oil comes on line? How long before it runs out? And where do we drill next?

    Wait a second, I thought you just said we didn’t have any oil. Now we do and the problem is it not coming online fast enough?

    >To the extent corn fields are converted to switch grass, you are right that the end result would still be less corn available to eat. But growing less corn is going to happen no matter what.

    Yeesh, you gloom and doomers are amazing. Is there anything you are not expert on? Now, in addition to predicting the weather to within one degree, you guys now know we aren’t going to be able to grow corn?

    Oh well, given how often these sorts of dire predictions have proven to be false, I’m not really too worried.

    >Corn is an over capitalized, agri-business dead end.

    All of corn growing is a dead end? Wait a second, if you’re so smart, how come you aren’t rich?

    >Cattle and sheep are designed by nature to eat greens, not grain.

    So now you know better than ranchers what they should be feeding their stock?

    >You grant “environmentalists” incredible power by the way. Bush was able to persuade the nation to start an unecesary, unfunded, and very costly war but he could not talk us into making it easier to mine coal? Because of Utah environmentalists?

    Obviously you have never heard of the Sierra Club, WWF or anything else. They are pretty infamous for their lawsuits.

    However, I do like that you managed yet again to take a conversation about ethanol and somehow divert to the basic liberal boiler plate position:

    “Um….um…. I work on emotion, not logic…..um….um…. I’m right because of…because IRAQ!”

    Good lord, talk about a weak argument.

    • dean

      Rupert…if global warming is not a problem then coal is not a problem. No harm no foul. Dig it up and burn it.

      I do not recall writing “we didn’t have any oil.” But I do recall suggesting that we do not have enough proven, recoverable reserves in the US to make a dent in the supply or price problem. And what reserves we do have, ANWR for example, would take a number of years to get moving even if we started tomorrow, which we won’t because of whacko environmentalists like Gordon Smith, John McCain, Norm Coleman, and Olympia Snowe.

      There are lots of things I am not an expert on, including corn. But I know enough to know that growing corn is very demanding on the soil. It takes a lot of water, fuel, and artificial fertilizer to get it to produce, which is made from natural gas, and which leaches off farms and into streams and rivers and the Gulf of Mexico. I’m not making a “dire prediction.” It takes only a small bit of research and reading and a few years living in Iowa to understand that corn is a fossil fuel dependent, heavily subsidized, over grown and over consumed commodity.

      Cattle get sick on corn, which requires antibiotics, which we then consume. Also corn acidifies cattle’s digestive system and that allows e coli to survive, and we know what happens next on that one. Cheap corn is fed to beef because corn is so heavily subsidized that there is way too much of it. Corn ethanol is just one more new way to get rid of excess corn. You of all people, a professed free marketer who distrusts government projects, should be pissed off about what our commodity subsidies have wrought, from depleted soils to dead zones in the gulf to a whole lot of overweight people that are going to cost you in increased health premiums.

      Grass fed beef tastes better, is easier on the planet, and is much better for our bodies (less fat, more Omega 3). Prior to a few decades ago grass fed beef was the norm, and it will be that way again someday soon.

      But I’m getting all verklempt again. Talk amongst yourselves.

  • Anonymous

    dean,

    Stop peddling your global warming cult.

    There’s not any case you can provide that backs up your BS claims of CO2 atmospheric accumulation leading to the “eventual evacuation and resettlement of Bangladesh, Shanghai, the Netherlands, 2/3 of Florida, and much of our eastern seaboard.”

    That eventuality can be easily be dismissed because it’s asinine.

    As is your delusion that the scientific and public dimissing is an increasingly shrinking minority opinion.

    Global warming is not a problem but your cult memeber have revealed that it doesn’t matter. All things they demand in fighting GW must be required even as GW proves to be false.

    That’s the sort of fanatical trait that makes the bulk of GWers a cult.

    There are lots of things you are not an expert on, including corn, education, transportation, land use and Global Warming. But you think you know enough to propogandize at every opportunity.

    But I’m glad to read you like a good steak.

    • dean

      Grass fed beef….also grass fed lamb, including our own home grown (formerly known as Murphy) now packed in the freezer.

      “Not an expert”….that’s my middle name.

      Cult: “In religion and sociology, a cult is a term designating a cohesive group of people devoted to beliefs or practices that the surrounding culture or society considers to be outside the mainstream”

      According to a 2007 PEW survey, 77% of Americans believe global warming is a serious or very serious problem. 20% say it is not a problem or not too serious of a problem.
      https://people-press.org/reports/display.php3?ReportID=303

      Which one of us is outside the mainstream on this issue? Which is by definition “a member of a cult?”

  • Terry Parker

    Just the fact that ethanol takes more energy to produce and transport the product to market than is derived from the product should have raised red flags at the beginning of the conversation. However, with eco-zealous narrow minded authoritarians holding the balance of power in the Oregon legislature, the theatrics they produce costs everybody.

    The concept of having Oregon energy independent was flawed from the beginning. Natural gas is shipped through a pipeline from Canada, gasoline is shipped through a pipeline from Puget Sound, and now corn is shipped in from the mid-west to use more natural gas to produce ethanol. What if all of the other states that surround Oregon decided they did not want these pipelines and products crossing through their state such as Oregon is attempting to do with new gas pipelines? The wind does not always blow as constantly as all the hot air from the eco-politicians. Hydro-power is all but dead in the water for any increased production with the possibility of hydro producing dams falling victim and being removed due to eco-extremists. Oregon is no where near energy independence and never will be. This is a global economy and Oregon wants to export its products too. Furthermore, Portland’s economy is transport based and that should be built upon to both import and export even more products. Instead the eco-authoritarians are throwing up more road blocks instead of building more roadway infrastructure. Importing foreign oil, gasoline or other energy resources is no different than buying a foreign built car. Instead of growing crops for fuel, it makes far more economic sense to grow crops for food and trade those food stocks for the fuel, particularly to regions of the country and the world where food is scarce or can not be grown. .

    • Chris McMullen

      Two words to greater energy independence: nuclear power.

  • Anonymous

    “According to a 2007 PEW survey, 77% of Americans believe global warming is a serious or very serious problem. 20% say it is not a problem or not too serious of a problem.”

    So big dan deal dean. Of course that poll shows that.
    The media has been trumpeting the hoax forever.
    And people like you echo it all.

    This is why it’s probably the biggest hoax in history.

    If 95% of the public “believe” it’s still a hoax. The science is so stacked up debunking it that at this point anyone doing what you are doing I am characterizing as just plain dishonest.
    You’ve pulled every dishonest ploy and stunt out there. Even going so far as to add to the pile of observations falsely attributed to human global warming.
    You do the same with land use and transportation.

  • Anonymous

    “Gray has said global warming scientists are “brainwashing our children.”

    https://icecap.us/

    Apr 28, 2008
    Hurricane Forecaster’s Dispute with School Focuses on Global Warming Debate
    By Eric Berger, Houston Chronicle

    By pioneering the science of seasonal hurricane forecasting and teaching 70 graduate students who now populate the National Hurricane Center and other research outposts, William Gray turned a city far from the stormy seas into a hurricane research mecca. But now the institution in Fort Collins, Colo., where he has worked for nearly half a century, has told Gray it may end its support of his seasonal forecasting.

    As he enters his 25th year of predicting hurricane season activity, Colorado State University officials say handling media inquiries related to Gray’s forecasting requires too much time and detracts from efforts to promote other professors’ work. But Gray, a highly visible and sometimes acerbic skeptic of climate change, says that’s a “flimsy excuse” for the real motivation – a desire to push him aside because of his global warming criticism. Among other comments, Gray has said global warming scientists are “brainwashing our children.”

    Not only does this internal dispute reveal a bit of acrimony at the end of Gray’s long career at CSU; it highlights the politically charged atmosphere that surrounds global warming in the United States. “Bill Gray has come under a lot of fire for his views,” said Channel 11 meteorologist Neil Frank, a former director of the National Hurricane Center and a friend of Gray’s. “If, indeed, this is happening, it would be really sad that Colorado State is trying to rein in Bill Gray.” CSU officials insist that is not the case.

    Gray has been highly critical of a former student, Greg Holland, who is among the most visible U.S. scientists arguing about the dangers posed by global warming. Gray’s comments about Holland include referring to him as a member of a “Gang of Five” that is interested in using scare tactics to increase research funding. His views on the climate – he says Earth is warming naturally and soon will begin cooling – have been applauded by some scientists, particularly meteorologists such as Frank. But they are out of step with mainstream climate science. Read more here.

    • dean

      William Gray is a renowned expert on hurricanes, but he seems to lack much understanding of long term climate cycles. For a critique of his theories on global warming, I recommend: https://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2006/04/gray-on-agw/

      My point on the PEW poll was not that 77% public support means the presently accepted theory on global warming is correct, but it does mean your characterization of those who believe it as part of some “cult” is way off base. You should come up with a different metaphor, or better yet, stop calling names and debate the issue on its merits. Of course…on its merits you lose, so maybe you should just stick with the name calling after all.

      • John in Oregon

        Ok Dean, let me think a moment. PEW? Ohhh yes I remember now. Isn’t PEW that organization that Astroturfed campaign finance reform? Didn’t Sean Treglia, a former program officer for PEW reveal that in a talk at USC?

        But then that was exposed in an article by John Fund in the Wall Street Journal. A know conservative in a radical conservative publication. Nothing to see here, move along folks.

        Definition 1
        Astroturfed: Manipulating facts and poles while creating fake “grass roots” organizations to create a false impression of mass public interest.

        Definition 2
        Astroturfed: A lie

        Sooo I asked my self. Self might there be other poles conducted by more reliable organizations? Ohhh my YES there are.

        NBC News/Wall Street Journal March, 2008
        top priority issues
        Jobs 26%
        Iraq 19 %
        Health care 12 %
        Energy 10 %
        Terrorism 9 %
        Illegal immigration 9%
        Global warming 4 %

        Gallup Poll. March, 2008.
        Problems respondents worry about (one or more choices)
        The economy 60%
        Health care 58%
        Crime 49%
        Energy 47%
        Social Security system 46%
        Drug use 43%
        Environment 40%

  • Anonymous

    dean,
    You’re the one lacking. The truth and integrity.

    Yet “you” are directing people to gain a better “understanding”?

    You’re so used to lying you can no longer recognize it. By others or yourself.

    The Global Warming lies are so many it’s become a cancer and a cult of the activists like you.

    I’ll bet 60 or 70 % of the public believes hurricanes are increasing because of one of the most egregious Global warming lies.

    When the IPCC itself lies there is no name calling that is off base.
    And their credibility is lost.

    Hurricane expert left IPCC

    https://sciencepolicy.colorado.edu/prometheus/archives/science_policy_general/000318chris_landsea_leaves.html

    January 17, 2005
    Chris Landsea Leaves IPCC

    It is beyond me why my colleagues would utilize the media to push an unsupported agenda that recent hurricane activity has been due to global warming. Given Dr. Trenberth’s role as the IPCC’s Lead Author responsible for preparing the text on hurricanes, his public statements so far outside of current scientific understanding led me to concern that it would be very difficult for the IPCC process to proceed objectively with regards to the assessment on hurricane activity. My view is that when people identify themselves as being associated with the IPCC and then make pronouncements far outside current scientific understandings that this will harm the credibility of climate change science and will in the longer term diminish our role in public policy.

    All previous and current research in the area of hurricane variability has shown no reliable, long-term trend up in the frequency or intensity of tropical cyclones, either in the Atlantic or any other basin. The IPCC assessments in 1995 and 2001 also concluded that there was no global warming signal found in the hurricane record.

    Moreover, the evidence is quite strong and supported by the most recent credible studies that any impact in the future from global warming upon hurricane will likely be quite small. The latest results from the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (Knutson and Tuleya, Journal of Climate, 2004) suggest that by around 2080, hurricanes may have winds and rainfall about 5% more intense than today. It has been proposed that even this tiny change may be an exaggeration as to what may happen by the end of the 21st Century (Michaels, Knappenberger, and Landsea, Journal of Climate, 2005, submitted).

    After some prolonged deliberation, I have decided to withdraw from participating in the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). I am withdrawing because I have come to view the part of the IPCC to which my expertise is relevant as having become politicized. In addition, when I have raised my concerns to the IPCC leadership, their response was simply to dismiss my concerns.

    • dean

      Its old news. Landsea’s letter is from 2005, and it means nothing. He did not and does not dispute the fact of global warming or its human causes. He does dispute the extent to which warming oceans may increase the strength of hurricanes, but there is credible data and analysis on both sides of this issue.

      John….yes, the polls you cite show that Americans, while they believe global warming is real and is a problem, have not yet put it at the top of their “to do” lists, given economic decline, a continuing unpopular war, rising gasoline prices, and so forth. For some of us, there is a link between all of these issues, which is an over dependence on oil. Measures to address global warming have the added benefit of reducing our need for Middle eastern oil, hence war, hence less risk of terrorism, and an improved economy by investing in conservation and domestic energy (there is enough wind energy in North Dakota alone to power the entire US.)

      As for PEW, they are as reputable a polling organization as there is. You can play shoot the messenger all you want, but it does not change the results of what people think.

      Signed…American global warming cult member 246,575,382.

      • John in Oregon

        By definition, shooting the messengers is inflicting a penalty upon a person who is delivering factually correct and accurate information.

        In contrast, PEWs conduct was to fabricate, publish and distribute false information.

        That you would describe those actions as that of a reputable organization is … Disappointing.

  • Anonymous

    dean,
    How dishonest can you get?
    The Landsea letter demonstrates the IPCC willingness to contradict their own experts and reports that twice concluded that GW and hurricanes were NOT related.

    ” The IPCC assessments in 1995 and 2001 also concluded that there was no global warming signal found in the hurricane record.”

    Yet you feed the hoax that this issue is somehow credible on both sides of the lie.

    What a complete hack you are.

    There is no credible data and analysis on the GW-more hurricanes side.

    With the IPCC leadership enabling such distortion of their own reports they are without any credibility.
    Like you and your nonsense.

    Critizing the poll is not shooting the messenger. People think exactly as they are led to believe through a massive unethical hoax you help perpetrate.

    As far as your cult involvement goes, it is only surpassed by your dishonesty.

    Today’s O had two more GW BS stories. One on the push to put polar bears on the endangered species list because of global warming and the other with inferrences that the ancient super warm period of tropical greenland etc are similar to what we face today from Human CO2 emissions.
    Just more junk science to effect the polls.

    • dean

      ” The IPCC assessments in 1995 and 2001 also concluded that there was no global warming signal found in the hurricane record.”

      Yes…..but there is a clear correlation between warmer water and hurricane strength, which is why hurricanes form in the tropics and subropics and not in the North Atlantic. The issue is the extent to which surface water warming will result in increased wind strength, and what this means with respect to hurricanes.

      Dr. Landsea agrees there will be some strengthening, but says it will only be 5% or possibly less. Unfortunately what he does not say is that the same study he cites (Knutson) finds that this small percent increase also ends up creating a potential tripling of the frequency of Category 5 (the strongest and most damaging) hurricanes.

      https://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2005/09/hurricanes-and-global-warming/

      The IPCC leadership stressed this finding, and Landsea took exception to it.

      Why read the Oregonian at all if it is just propaganda?

      • John in Oregon

        *Contention:* ” there is a clear correlation between warmer water and hurricane strength.”
        *Status: Disputed* Latif, et al.
        *Summary:* Researching historical 1870 to 2003 data this study found, Warming does not seem to influence the tropical storm activity. No sustained long-term trend found.

        Latif, M., Keenlyside, N. and Bader, J. 2007. Tropical sea surface temperature, vertical wind shear, and hurricane development. Geophysical Research Letters 34: 10.1029/2006GL027969.

        Dean: You should be aware that realclimate has the flaw of undisclosed links with warming factions within NASA. Best case this is skirting Federal regulations and requirements. Worst cast a violation.

        This fact suggests only that a healthy amount of skepticism is required when evaluating realclimate content. It does not justify wholesale out of hand rejection of the content as some content is based on sound science.

        A bit of compare and contrast will provide light on the subject.

        First, James Hansen of the Goddard Institute for Space Studies. Hansen Publishes alarming results, Sequesters raw data, Withholds calculations and procedures, while making Undisclosed adjustments and changes.

        Second. Steve McIntyre at climateaudit. McIntyre’s findings, procedures and data are published and open for inspection.

        Recently McIntyre noticed a discontinuity in Hansens results. When Hansen refused to provide data, McIntyre was able to retrieve origional raw data from a private archive, reverse engineer the calculations and locate a Y2K like error in Hansens results.

        While that error was small, my evaluation is that Hansen hides his agenda, adjustments and errors therefor making his results unreliable.

        In contrast, McIntyre is a statistician. It takes a special kind of mind to thrive in the statisticians environment, the kind of mind I don’t have.

        I will accept McIntyres work knowing that his work is open, published, and subject to immediate evaluation and correction.

        > Why read the Oregonian at all if it is just propaganda?

        I don’t. I gave up the funny papers and comic books long ago, I am, after all, no longer 12 year a kid. On the other hand why should I support a biased dinosaur with plummeting circulation and a readership in free fall.

        • dean

          I meant the anonymous person reading the Oregonian. But on that subject, I’m not sure the readership is down if one counts their on line readership. What is down is their print readership and revenues, as is the case for about every major daily in America, including the WSJ. The internet is having a real impact on the economics of news gathering.

          Hurricanes only form over warm water. There is no question (I think) that hurricanes have to have warm water to gather the energy to form. The issue at hand, as I understand it in my feeble brain, is the extent to which rising water temps in the tropics and subtropics may increase hirricane strength. As I pointed out, even Landsea does not dispute this. He appears to dispute only the extent.

          I suspect your Latif reference is about whether warming creates MORE hurricanes or storms. On this one the jury is definitely still out.

          Real Climate publishes their bios on line: https://www.realclimate.org/index.php?cat=10

          As far as I could see only one has a NASA affiliation, and it is fully disclosed. Having once worked for the feds, I don’t recall restrictions on free speech, but there were restrictions on direct politicking for partisan candidates.

          I did not know there were “warming factions” within NASA…or “conversely “non-warming factions.” My impression has been there is a general consensus at Goddard the global warming is fact and anthropogenic causes are not in dispute. Do I misunderstand that?

          The stats at climate audit are way out of my game. I accept Hansen’s work because it has been vetted through peer review and mostly validated by other studies.

          • dean

            John…back to the Pew Survey. The Pew Charitable Trust supported campaign finance reform. The PEW Research Center for People and the Press is a polling organization. The former raises and provides funds for the later. Whether this means poll results on global warming are somehow tainted, I don’t know. But their findings seem in synch with other polling.

          • John in Oregon

            *Point 1:* You say > As I pointed out, even Landsea does not dispute this. [increased hurricane strength]
            *Response:* One may choose to not dispute a point for ANY number of reasons. The point may be obviously false, time may not permit rebuttal, or, yes, the person may even agree. When you said “Landsea does not dispute” I fully believe the intent was that the reader take away the belief that Landsea agrees. Those two things are VERY different. And, if, in fact Landsea supports the contention I am sure you would not hesitate to say Landsea agrees.

            *Point 2:* You, quite properly, raise the inquiry .. To what extent “rising water temps in the tropics and subtropics may increase hirricane (sic) strength”?
            *Response:* Latif, et al speaks to two subjects. The physics of the sea air interface and the historical record. For the latter Latif provides answers to 3 questions.

            1 Does the 1870 to 2003 historical data show an increased storm frequency?
            Answer: *NO*
            2 Does the 1870 to 2003 historical data show an increased storm intensity?
            Answer: *NO*
            3 Does the 1870 to 2003 historical data show any long term trend?
            Answer: *NO*

            There are other recent studies that support those same conclusions.

            *Point 3:* In response to my caution regarding realclimate you comment > As far as I could see only one has a NASA affiliation…
            *Response:* I explicitly stated there was NO BASIS for a blanket condemnation of realclimate content and ONLY that a healthy skepticism was warranted. Nothing was said about free speech.

            I might not have raised the issue at all. But realclimate PR chose to cite “profoundly concerned scientists” who described all the scientists who would attend at the 2008 International Conference on Climate Change as being corrupted by the “evil” oil industry, not being scientists at all, as people being paid concrete amounts of money to fabricate papers and talks, and so on. *One would have thought they might at least wait until they know who would attend.*

            *Point 4:* You commented > My impression has been there is a general consensus at Goddard the (sic) global warming is fact and anthropogenic causes are not in dispute.
            *Response:*
            1 The Goddard Institute for Space Studies is a contractor and NOT NASA.
            2 Science is NOT conducted by consensus.
            3 There is considerable dispute with the CO2 warming link. (Do you contend that only The Goddard Institute for Space Studies is qualified to decide?)

            *Point 5:* You state “I accept Hansen’s work because it has been vetted through peer review and mostly validated by other studies.”
            *Response:* I have no doubt that is an accurate reflection of your belief and accept that as your opinion. I do contest that Hansens work could be vetted in any way. Any vetting requires the data, calculations and procedures be available for review.

            Hansen withheld that information until reverse engineering found the Y2K error. He then made an undisclosed edit to correct the error and show the hottest year in the 1930s. Worse he then made further undisclosed changes to make 98 again the hottest year.

            Hansens work product is supposed to be an accurate historical record of recorded factual data. It is not a thesis to be validated by other studies.

            To all this I ask 3 questions;
            1 Do you dispute that Hansen withheld data and calculation procedures? If so when did he release them?
            2 Do you dispute that Hansen made an undisclosed error correction to his conclusions? If so when did he disclose the correction?
            3 Do you dispute that Hansen made an undisclosed data source change that returned 98 to the hottest year? If so when did he announce the change?

          • John in Oregon

            Earlier I said “Worse he then made further undisclosed changes to make 98 again the hottest year.”

            I should have said, . “Worse he then made further undisclosed changes which make 98 again the hottest year.”

            I, in fact, do not know the intent was to make the 30’s / 1998 results change.

          • dean

            Point 1: Landsea in his own words agreed that sea temperature rise does mathematically increase the strength of wind speeds in hurricanes. Look it up. He expects a “5% or less increase.” That is an increase nonetheless, and apparently 5%could be enough to kick some number of category 4s into category 5s.

            Point 2: No argument on the historic record. The issue is the modeling on increased wind speeds (see point 1).

            Point 3: I agree on maintaining a healthy skepticism, especialy when it comes to blogs. But if I see a bison charging at me, I put my skepticism aside (could be I am dreaming, or imagining, or maybe it doesn’t mean me any harm) and dive to the side to avoid contact. I am at that point with global warming.

            Point 4: Science is not “conducted” by consensus. Okay. But scienTISTS come to a consensus through theory, investigation, experimentation, data, modelling, analysis, peer review, and the gradual accumulation of empirical evidence. Plate techtonics, evolution, the size and age of the universe….and anthropogenic global warming theory all fall within a consensus among their respective reseearch fields. String theory is not there yet.

            No…Godard alone is not the last word, if that is what you mean. They are one important part of a larger network, and the entire relevant scientific establishment save the petroleum geologists is on board. Petroleum geologists. What a coincidence.

            Your questions:
            1: I have no idea either way.
            2: If you are talking about the 1934 versus 1998 statistical adjustment, a better explanation than I could ever give is at: https://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2007/08/1934-and-all-that/
            3: I have no idea. But what is the difference? The argument appears to over a few hundredths of a degree between 1934 and 1998. What does it matter if one was a hundreth degree warmer or cooler than the other? Why would Hansen need to fudge his analysis? I think you are barking up the wrong tree on this one. I think 2005 beat both 1934 and 1998 by the way.

          • John in Oregon

            As it is a key point, lets start with *point 2.* You commented;
            > No argument on the historic record. The issue is the modeling on increased wind speeds.

            Thank You. We agree, there has been a temperature increase from the Dalton Minimum to present. We also agree, there has been no historical intensity increase. Therefor I concur with your statement that the issue is the failure of the modeling to accurately agree with actual observed data. The computer modeling predicts an increase when there has been none.

            By the way, do you know if anyone has been assigned to correct the modeling errors?

            *Point 3.* > You said; [T]he entire relevant scientific establishment save the petroleum geologists is on board.

            Thank you for the correction. Since they question the CO2 / warming link, in the future I will refer to the following persons and some 400 others with their proper title of Petroleum Geologists.

            Dr. Freeman J. Dyson Physics
            Dr. Asmunn Moene, Meteorological Institute, Norway
            Dr. Zbigniew Jaworowski, physicist
            Dr. Marcel Leroux, climatology
            Dr. Al Pekarek, geology
            Dr. Gary D. Sharp, Center for Climate/Ocean Resources Study
            Dr. Patrick J. Michaels, environmental sciences
            Dr. Gerrit J. van der Lingen, geology / paleoclimatology
            Dr. R.M. Carter, Marine Geophysical Laboratory
            Dr. Chris de Freitas, climatology
            Dr. Petr Chylek, Physics and Atmospheric Science,

            *Point 4:* > Your comments were: But scienTISTS (sic) come to a consensus through theory, investigation, experimentation, data, modelling, (sic) analysis, peer review, and the gradual accumulation of empirical evidence. Plate techtonics, (sic) evolution, the size and age of the universe….and anthropogenic global warming theory all fall within a consensus among their respective reseearch (sic) fields. String theory is not there yet.

            Ohhh my I think you forgot the kitchen sink. However, notwithstanding, I disagree. The Scientific Method (grade 8 when I was in school, but who knows it may be grade 11 these days, if taught at all):
            1 Observe
            2 Form a hypothesis (to explain observed facts)
            3 Test the hypothesis
            4 Form a conclusion based on the test.

            The results of step 4 may;
            A) Show the hypothesis fails, therefor return to step 1, Or
            B) Produce inconclusive results, therefor return to step 1, Or
            C) Support the hypothesis, therefor publish the research so that others may duplicate the research, disprove the research, or propose an alternate hypothesis.

            Note, computer modeling is part of step 2 above. Modeling is invalid until it is tested and shown to agree with real observation. And, further, if at any later time it disagrees with real observation the model is invalid and the process returns to step 1.

            Note also, peer review is a publication process in which disinterested peers (IE not associated with the author) review the paper for merit, errors and accuracy. It is an evaluation process intended to select the most relevant papers for publication.

            Note also, the peer review process is not universally golden. Peer review of the Hockey Stick paper was conducted by author associates who were not qualified statisticians and therefor obvious statistical procedural errors were not detected. The process also failed to detect falsified data in a genetic engineering paper some 18 months ago.

            Note further, no where in the process is there consensus or even a vote. By consensus, Einstein’s theory of relativity can be said to be valid. Notwithstanding, even today various aspects of relativity are being tested when the consensus would suggest no testing was justified.

            *Point 4* You said; > No… Godard alone is not the last word, if that is what you mean. They are one important part of a larger network, and the entire relevant scientific establishment save the petroleum geologists is on board. Petroleum geologists. What a coincidence.

            As I said, thank you for the correction. Since they question the CO2 / warming link, in the future I will refer to the following persons and some 400 others with their proper title of Petroleum Geologists.

            Dr. Syun-Ichi Akasofu, , International Arctic Research Center
            Dr. Bjarne Andresen, The Niels Bohr Institute
            Dr. Richard S. Courtney, climate and atmospheric science, IPCC expert reviewer
            Dr. Madhav Khandekar, Environment Canada, IPCC Expert Reviewer
            Dr. Reid A. Bryson, UNEP, Center for Climatic Research
            Dr. Ian D. Clark, isotope hydrogeology and paleoclimatology
            Dr David Evans, mathematics / carbon accounting
            Dr. Craig D. Idso, Chairman, Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change
            Dr. G. Cornelis van Kooten, Canada Research Chair in environmental studies and climate change,
            Dr Fred Michel, Director, Institute of Environmental Sciences, Associate Professor of Earth Sciences

            The questions:

            1: Did Hansen withheld data? You indicate you have no idea either way. Therefor you do not dispute this fact.

            2. Did Hansen make an undisclosed error correction? You indicate a ” statistical adjustment” did happen and do not dispute that it was undisclosed. Therefor you do not dispute this fact. The explanation of the error is interesting but not relevant to the issue of nondisclosure.

            3: Did Hansen make an undisclosed data source change? You indicate you have no idea. Therefor you do not dispute this fact. Although you also suggest that the change is small and unimportant.

            I dispute your thought that 2005 beat both 1934 and 1998.

            Dean, I have a proposition for you. I am offering to become your financial accountant and just think you will never have to look at the books or check your bank statement. Just trust me. Think about it, that’s the reason you should care about secret data, and why it does matter when data editing is undisclosed.

          • dean

            John…trust me on this one. You would not want to take on my financial accounting. Not enough there to bother with.

            On everything else…I appreciate your approach and respectful manner of advancing your arguments. I’ll sum up my views as follows:

            1) I imagine someone or someone(s) are working continuously on adapting and improving the modelling, not just for hurricane strength related to ocean warming but on the whole gamut of climate issues.

            2) Yes…there are reputable scientists outside of petroleum geology who take issue with one or more aspects of global warming. I was reffering to science organizations, not to individuals.

            3) I don’t think our interpretation of scientific method is in conflict, though I did leave out “observe” as the first step. I also don’t disagree with your characterization of peer review and publishing as not being a perfect system. But its like with imperfect democracy. All the other systems (for interpreting objective reality) appear to be worse.

            4) I agree “consensus” is not voted on. It accumulates. Darwin’s theory on the origin of species took a while to sink in. And it is still challenged or “doubted,” even by some scientists. My geology professor at Iowa State described scientific consensus as “the best story we have for the moment,” always leaving open the possibility that a better story (explanation for phenomena) will emerge later on.

            5) You mischaracterize my position on Hansen. You state that he withheld data “as a fact.” I did not agree or disagree. I said I just do not know that this was or was not the case. I don’t presume he was hiding “secret” data, and I don’t presume otherwise . Same goes for #2 and #3.

            What I have read (on realclimate) is that by one method 2005 was warmer than 34 and 98, but by another method it was not. Either way, the diference is a few hundreths of a degree, and the long term upward trendlines have not changed.

            Last point for me: I don’t “know” that the earth is warming and if it is, that it is caused by CO2 accumulations related to human activities. I don’t think anyone “knows” this, even Hansen. I think enough objective evidence gathered in across the world by thousands of researchers says this is the case, and that the prudent thing to do is to make reasonable changes in how we go about using energy now, because it will take decades to invest in and deploy the new and existing technologies needed to make a transition that does not ruin our economy.

            And I think that even if global warming theory turns out to be some sort of giant mistake (or hoax if you prefer,) our reliance on fossil fuels, particularly oil ($120 a barrel,) is term limited and geographically problematic. So whether we initiate a transition now or sometime later, it is going to be a necessity. Lets get on with it and retain our skepticism along the way, including our skepticism of the skeptics.

          • John in Oregon

            I have an acknowledgment to make, but first I need to lay some ground work by going back to Point 1 that I skipped last post.

            After I raised the question about “Landsea does not dispute” you commented >Landsea in his own words agreed that sea temperature rise does mathematically increase the strength of wind speeds in hurricanes. And > Dr. Landsea agrees there will be some strengthening, but says it will only be 5% or possibly less.

            I think your later words are accurate and correct. In short Dr. Landsea does not reject strengthening out of hand although he believes it will be small, 5% or less.

            I hope you can see how the above is very different from the readers impression for something like ‘Dr. Landsea does not dispute that warming will cause more dangerous killer hurricanes.’ The impression here is Dr. Landsea’s support. In the readers mind, ‘Dr. Landsea believes that warming will cause more dangerous killer hurricanes’.

            Its easy to use such phrasing unintentionally especially when something like it has been in articles a person has previously read. It’s also, in the hands of a skilled word smith, a means to obscure intentional bias. It’s factually correct while intentionally misrepresenting Dr. Landsea’s position.

            Now I had a choice. I believed your use was unintentional. I could use sharp words, I could hurl invectives. I could generate tremendous heat and very little light. I chose not to, besides pejorative comments belong in other places like the Huffington post.

            So I took a chance, and, here is the acknowledgment. I intentionally used the technique so that you might see the issue from another prospective. When I said that you did not dispute that Hansen withheld data, was that factually correct? YES, OF COURSE. Did that misrepresent your position? ABSOLUTELY. And I am pleased to say from your comments I can see that you have clearly understood my point.

            As to the questions themselves regarding Hansen. This is all a mater of public record. Although I do not believe this aspect has been discussed much at realclimate, as they more on why the error doesn’t matter.. Steve McIntyre hasn’t hammered Hansen, instead he has chosen to instead campaign for some form of quality control procedures similar to GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles) for the handling of climate statistics.

            Point 3, 4
            We do agree on much. Nevertheless consensus is not and must never be part of the scientific method. A practice example will demonstrate.

            When I was in grade school science the continents were fixed in place. At that time in any room of 99 geologists, 99 of them would have concurred. That’s right, unanimous.

            Then one lone voice was heard. Heard and ignored. The voice said the continents move over time. The continents float on magma. Ridicules said the 99. So that voice conducted experiments. Ridicules said the 99. The voice collected data. Ridicules said the 97. And then one day the voice published proof. Agreed said the 98.

            Consensus is based on opinion, Science is conducted by test, experiment, fact and proof. Fact cares not about consensus, And, given the chance, consensus will suppress fact.

            Consensus gags the lone voice. Politicians invoke consensus, Science looks to experiments, tests theory with facts. Nearly all scientific breakthrough comes from loan voice challenging conventional wisdom with facts and proof.

            You said > you don’t “know” that the earth is warming and if it is, that it is caused by CO2…
            In the context I believe you had in mind, I concur. I believe what you had in mind would be that … you don’t “know” that the earth is warming [beyond natural events] and if it is, [you don’t know] that that it [the excess warming] is caused by CO2… That is an excellent attitude. That question is the subject of considerable debate within the scientific community

            My reference to warming was more specific, the period Dalton Minimum to present. Warming during this short period should have shown increased hurricane strength. Since it did not, there is reason to question a warming link to hurricanes.

            In terms of long term temperature records, probably one of the better temperature reconstruction’s is; Dr Craig Loehle A 2000-Year Global Temperature Reconstruction Based On Non-Treering Proxies

            Loehle’s reconstruction shows the Roman Warm Period, some what warmer than today, the Medieval Warm Period, significantly warmer than today, the Maunder Minimum (1,600s little ice age), very significantly colder than today, and the Dalton Minimum (1,800s) colder than today. Over time the earth has warmed, cooled and warmed again.

            There is something remarkable about Loehle’s work. It is the *first reconstruction* that used prosy data that has already been *calibrated to temperature* in a *peer reviewed article.*

            Further, Loehle is consistent with history. Bureaucrats and tax collectors (bless their black hearts) keep detailed records. These records show a thriving British Isles vineyard industry during the Medieval Warm Period. Church records document the prayers to halt the advancing ice during the little ice age. Now that the British isles have warmed again, its not yet warm enough to support a viable vineyard industry.

          • dean

            John…did I at any point say that “Dr. Landsea does not dispute that warming will cause more dangerous killer hurricanes” or anything even remotely like that? I don’t think I did.

            The hurricane/Lansea issue seems to be what the effect of the 5% or so estimated increased strength means. Apparently, at least in some models, it means that some hurricanes bump up from category 1 to 2, 2 to 3, and so forth. So if this is the case, then it is fair enough to conclude that there may well be more stronger hurricanes, though not more total hurricanes (though if some tropical storms are upgraded to hurricanes, then the latter point would be logical as well).

            On the consensus question, in the example you gave once the 97 “doubters” agreed with the initially ridiculed premise on plate techtonics, doesn’t this mean a consensus has been reached on that theory? And aren’t we going through the same process with anthropogenic global warming? We may or may not be at the 98% level, but we are clearly above the 90% level.

            On Dr Loehle’s work, isn’t one key issue that the “Medieval Warm Period’ is only documented as having occured in Europe, and thus other parts of the globe could have been relatively cool, so there may be no useful analogy with modern global warming?

            But overall….yes….it is possible that what we are experiencing is mroe from “natural” causes than from CO2, and it is possible that even if it is mostly CO2 that the earth will “compensate” through strenghtening ocean currents, increased cloud cover, or some other unknown mechanism.

            Actually John…the Brits do have a thriving wine industry today, and many do attribute this at least in part to global warming. https://newworldwine.suite101.com/blog.cfm/great_britain_finds_its_stride

            They are even winning international awards for their sparklers.

            In the meantime…do we sit around and hope we are wrong about AGW, or maybe it won’t be so bad, etc….or do we change our energy investment and use?

          • John in Oregon

            You said > Did I at any point say that “Dr. Landsea does not dispute that warming will cause more dangerous killer hurricanes” or anything even remotely like that?

            That was an example, however. No, you conveyed that Dr. Landsea does not dispute the model. Said model being that warming will cause more dangerous killer hurricanes. Same result.

            You commented > isn’t one key issue that the “Medieval Warm Period’ is only documented as having occured (sic) in Europe…

            That was an early claim, now resolved. The MWP and LIA has been shown in non European locations. Another strength of Dr Loehle’s work is that it is diverse. Its based on data of eighteen proxies with quite wide geographic coverage such as;
            Shihua Cave China, GRIP borehole Greenland, Chesapeake Bay, Sargasso Sea, Caribbean Sea, South Africa. West Africa, Southeast Atlantic, Western Tropical Pacific, Northern Pacific, and Central Alps. So no, the MWP and LIA are not Europe only.

            > Actually John…the Brits do have a thriving wine industry today…

            Response, England is the southern British isles. And Northern Ireland?

            You asked > do we sit around and hope we are wrong about AGW, or maybe it won’t be so bad, etc.

            No, and I don’t believe in chicken little either. I do believe in balance. To date all of the eggs have been placed in the CO2 reduction basket. Since human generated CO2 is 3.2% of all CO2, and human generated CO2 accounts 0.28% of the greenhouse warming effect, huge reductions are needed to recover any real cooling if at all. As a result we have serious Australian proposals to prohibit all personal transportation and freight. Others down under say that’s not enough, that air travel must be limited to one trip per lifetime.

            This is not to say, ignore CO2. Rather, a balance between CO2 restraint and mitigation is in order. Humans did quite well with mitigation for the warming from 1800 to 1950. Mitigation has the additional advantage with its ability to respond to cooling of a small ice age. An eventuality against which I would not bet. And lessons from the past show cooling far more hazardous than warming.

            As to energy choices I do have some suggestions. Here are nine.

            1 Eliminate the roadblocks to LNG. Eliminate the flaring of natural gas as a waste product. Every therm of LNG is a nearly pollution free threm of recoverable energy.
            2 Eliminate the oldest of the aging auto and truck fleet, replacing with newer, cleaner and more efficient vehicles. (This is the opposite of raising CAFÉ which raises prices and suppresses replacement.)
            3 Scrap CAFÉ fuel efficiency and replace with life cycle energy rating.
            4 Bar roadblocks to the Tata Nano
            5 Promote compressed natural gas as a dual fuel with gasoline. Natural gas is a cleaner (including CO2) short trip fuel while gasoline allows long trip range.
            6 Free domestic natural gas for drilling.
            7 Eliminate the barriers to the OSU standardized nuclear generation designs.
            8 Reprocess spent nuclear fuel to reduce waste and generate new fuel.
            9 Facilitate increased electric generator and transmission efficiencies.

            You commented > On the consensus question, in the example you gave once the 97 “doubters” agreed with the initially ridiculed premise on plate techtonics, (sic) doesn’t this mean a consensus has been reached on that theory?

            I don’t agree. Start at the beginning with the 99 believers in fixed continents. If consensus were a standard, the consensus of the settled science would prohibit research into the motion of the continents. Further, it was the research, experiment, tests and facts that produced the new “consensus of 97”.

            >once the 97 “doubters” agreed

            This is a detail. Just as the 99 before, the 97 were believers not doubters. The 99 and 97 simply believed differently, each based on a set of facts. One set more accurate than the other.

            You commented earlier that > What I have read (on realclimate) is that by one method 2005 was warmer than 34 and 98,

            There are four major sources of compiled temperature records. Of these, for the period 1998 to 2008, including 2005;

            1 The Hadley Center for Climate Studies, UK (Had-Curt) shows worldwide temperatures declining since 1998.
            2 University of Alabama at Huntsville (UAH) from earth-orbiting satellites show decreasing temperatures over the last decade.
            3 Remote Sensing Systems (RSS) shows decreasing temperatures over the last decade.
            4 Godard Space Center (GSS) shows worldwide temperatures increasing at a record pace

            By consensus (3 to 1) Hansens GSS would seem to be excluded.

            I have one thought. I hope you have noticed that I generally use diverse data sources, and generally primary sources. Just food for thought.

          • dean

            John…where do you get that “human generated CO2 is only 3.2% of all CO2?

            What I get (secondary sources, I admit) is that atmospheric CO2 is up 30% since humans began burning fossil fuels. And that the models predict that for each doubling of atmospheric CO2, we can expect an increase in the average temp of the earth to be around 2-4 deg C (this was Hansen’s estimate. other estimates are in a similar range).

            What do you mean by “mitigation?” Increased aerosols?

            How would you “eliminate the oldest” autos and trucks? And if we don’t raise CAFEs, then how do we make any progress even if we do eliminate the older vehicles, given that our current average vehicle mileage is about where it was 20 years ago.

            Life cycle energy rating is an interesting idea. But it appears fraught with assumptions, the key one being how long the vehicle ends up on the road.

            What domestic gas reserve is not being drilled at present?

            Who would “reprocess” the spent nuclear fuel? Government? If you trust them to do that well, why don’t you trust them to raise CAFE standards and help finance the development of alternative energies?

            What does “Facilitate increased electric generator and transmission efficiencies” mean? Who does this “facilitation?”

            “Consensus” dos not “prohibit research” into alternative theories. It simply means agreement on general principles with respect to a theory. Anyone is free to come up with a new theory. They just have to find a way to prove it to a skeptical audience.

            1998, as you should know, is a bogus year to pick to measure temperatures from because it was an extreme el nino, the strongest of the century. The data goes back to the 1860s. And 2005, which more or less matched 98, was not an el nino year. If it had been it would have been way warmer.

            According to the Climate Research Unit (British) the period from 1998 has had an average .1 deg C rise in comparison with the historic record, and of the last 20 years, 17 have been the highest ever recorded.
            https://www.metoffice.gov.uk/corporate/pressoffice/myths/2.html

            I agree with you that “chicken little” is a bad mind set for policy making. It led us to a stupid decision in Iraq for example. I think you would agree the the opposite…an ostrich….is also a bad mind set for public energy policy.

            But what we are talking about (I think) is a long term policy change that increases conservation (i.e. higher CAFE and building codes standards,) deploys existing technologies (wind, solar, etc) even if they cost a bit more than fossil fuels, and invests in new technologies (plug in hybrid cars, hydrogen, etc) for the longer haul.

            In addition, building communities we can walk, cycle, or take a bus in also makes sense for many reasons. I don’t know anything about the Australian and air flight proposals, but I don’t see these as serious.

          • John in Oregon

            this thread is geting skinny, reset

  • John in Oregon

    >where do you get that “human generated CO2 is only 3.2% of all CO2?

    US DOE 2000

    I see the reason for your confusion, and it’s the fault of the author of the source you have read due to the lack of context and clarity which misrepresents what the numbers mean.. 30% looks scary.

    You commented > What I get (secondary sources, I admit) is that atmospheric CO2 is up 30% since humans began burning fossil fuels.

    Ohhh man, this looks really bad. HUMAN caused CO2 to grow by 30 percent. So lets check the numbers. (Sorry if I sound like a math text here.)

    The formula is (Current Concentration) *-* (Early Concentration) / (Early Concentration) X 100 = % increase.

    280 ppm (parts per million) is commonly thought to be the before man (BM) number.
    360 ppm is the accepted current post man (PM) number. THEREFOR

    PM *-* BM / PM X 100 = percent increase. BY SUBSTATION
    360 *-* 280 = 80 / 280 = 0.29 X 100 = 29% THEREFOR
    DAMN, the concentration of CO2 has increased 29% BM to PM, bad, really really really bad…HOWEVER

    The question was how much CO2 was contributed by humans. We haven’t answered that question yet, only how much change happened and not what caused the change..

    We do know how much humans have burned. It is true that the records for the period BM to 1940 aren’t really good. But that amount is so very small that the records uncertainty causes little error in the total contributed by humans. So we can take the tons of coal and the barrels of oil and calculate total CO2 produced by humans. AND

    We know the volume of the earth’s atmosphere. Then using volume and the known CO2 concentration, 360 ppm, we can calculate total CO2 in the atmosphere. AND

    Knowing these two numbers we can calculate the percentage of present CO2 contributed by humans.

    These calculations are lengthy and beyond reproduction here. Nevertheless, the results are 3.2% of present total CO2 contributed by humans.

    This is another example where a factual statement ‘atmospheric CO2 is up 30% since humans began burning fossil fuels’ misrepresents the reality that human generated CO2 accounts for only 3.2% of total CO2. I have seen comments that this kind of misrepresentation is intentional. I haven’t gone that far, although I do admit there is a walk like a duck factor.

    The concentration of CO2 has increased by 80 ppm from BM to PM. Now that we have the human produced and atmospheric numbers it would be interesting to calculate how much of the increase was caused by humans.

    That result is 15% of the increase is from humans. And 85% from other sources. It would be interesting to know what those other sources might be.

    The dissolved CO2 in the oceans is the single largest source of CO2. It’s also a fact that as water warms it releases dissolved CO2.

    >And that the models predict that for each doubling of atmospheric CO2, we can expect an increase in the average temp of the earth to be around 2-4 deg C

    We had this discussion previously. None of the models has been validated. And all of the models produce results that are inconsistent with known observed facts. Asked and answered.

    >1998, as you should know, is a bogus year to pick to measure temperatures from because it was an extreme el nino, the strongest of the century.

    I am surprised you admit that 98 was warm for reasons other than global warming. However you mentioned 2005 as warmer so I used the last decade data. 2008 – 10 years = 1998.

    >According to the Climate Research Unit

    Who is that? Possibly related to Moon Unit Zappa? The four recognized compilations of measured temperature are:
    1 The Hadley Center for Climate Studies, UK (Had-Curt)
    2 University of Alabama at Huntsville (UAH) from earth-orbiting satellites
    3 Remote Sensing Systems (RSS)
    4 Godard Space Center (GSS)

    > According to the Climate Research Unit … the period from 1998 has had an average .1 deg C rise in comparison with the historic record, and of the last 20 years, 17 have been the highest ever recorded.

    Assuming we accept this interpretation, it does NOT speak to the question. 17 of the last 20 can be true even while it is true the last decade trend is down. All it takes is the bulk of the 17 to be in the 88-98 and early 98-08 decade.

    In fact the trend of the last decade is down. Significantly down.

    BTW the questions about Hansen’s GSS data handling procedures have now starting to show up in the legacy media.
    https://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/05/02/a_tale_of_two_thermometers/

    > What do you mean by “mitigation?”

    Mitigation is taking steps to reduce the impact of an event. It is a standard disaster services term. Tsunami warnings are an example. Another. There is a high probability of earthquake of up to 9 magnitude some time in the next few hundred years. As mitigation, new building safety codes have required fastening buildings to the fountain and increased structural strength.

    >What does “Facilitate increased electric generator and transmission efficiencies” mean? Who does this “facilitation?”

    It means getting rid of regulations that unreasonably inhibit generating plant modernization while simultaneously producing higher pollution. In short, generators manufactured in 2008 produce more electricity than generators built in 1960 for the same amount of energy input.

    Concrete example. I believe it was PG&E (California) that owned a plant built nearly 60 years ago. It may have been Cal Ed, so lets just say TPC (the power company). Since the plant was old and polluting CAL-DEQ fined TPC $50,000 per day. TPC wanted to modernize parts of the plant. EPA said NO, it’s all or nothing. So then TPC decided to do a complete upgrade. CAL-DEQ said NO and refused to grant the permits. Finally TPC decided to close the plant. CAL-PUC said NO. And the legacy press railed against the evil TPC pollution.

    That was the situation until California forced TPC to sell their generating plants. At which point Enron closed the plant. And the legacy press railed against the evil Enron for stealing power from California.

    > What domestic gas reserve is not being drilled at present?

    Washington coast, Oregon coast, California coast, Gulf coast, Florida coast, Natural Gas Hydrates. The western gulf was most recent as I recall. (I didn’t say reserve.)

    > Who would “reprocess” the spent nuclear fuel? Government? If you trust them to do that well, why don’t you trust them to raise CAFE standards and help finance the development of alternative energies?

    The point was to allow the reprocessing just as the Europeans presently do. Since you just must get into the minutia. I would suggest industry with government supervision of plutonium by product.

    Regarding CAFÉ, I used not the word trust. That point is that fuel efficiency produces results at odds with the goal of life cycle energy costs.

    • dean

      As I understand it, temeratures have not risen as much as the models for CO2 increase suggest because of the “temperature inertia” of planet earth. It takes a while for the effects to manifest, in large part because we have a lot of water and earth to takes up some of the slack by absorbing the released CO2.

      I don’t know how your calculations came up with the estimate that humans have only contributed 3.2% of the present increase in atmospheric carbon. Try https://www.realclimate.org/index.php?p=87 for the other side of the story, which is that virtually all of the increase is on our shoulders. Fossil fuel burning is a big part, as is deforestation and agriculture. This has been shown to the satisfaction of climate scientists primarily through isotope analysis, which can uncover the source of cO2 molecules.

      Original sources:
      Stuiver, M., Burk, R. L. and Quay, P. D. 1984. 13C/12C ratios and the transfer of biospheric carbon to the atmosphere. J. Geophys. Res. 89, 1731–1748.
      Francey, R.J., Allison, C.E., Etheridge, D.M., Trudinger, C.M., Enting, I.G., Leuenberger, M., Langenfelds, R.L., Michel, E., Steele, L.P., 1999. A 1000-year high precision record of d13Cin atmospheric CO2. Tellus 51B, 170–193.
      Quay, P.D., B. Tilbrook, C.S. Wong. Oceanic uptake of fossil fuel CO2: carbon-13 evidence. Science 256 (1992), 74-79

      But if you don’t accept that humans are the cause of the CO2 (and other greenhouse gas) increase, I can see why you would make the other arguments you have made. You just don’t buy into the problem. We’ll just have to agree to disagree on that. AS much as I want to wish it away, I can’t.

      • John in Oregon

        >You had asked what US Natural Gas was available.

        US-EIA (Energy Information Administration), There are 1,190 Trillion Cubic Feet of recoverable natural gas in the United States.

        > You had commented in several places 1998 and 2005 are comparable.

        RSS remote sensing systems Santa Rosa CA data is
        1998 +0.901 Deg. K and
        2005 +0.51 Deg. K.
        Feel free to look up the Had-Curt and UAH data if you wish.

        > You have commented about the models.

        Perhaps some recent history would be in order.

        Smith et al in Nature 2007 made a bold prediction that in the next decade half the years after 2009 will be warmer than the ‘hottest year’ which is 1998 based on models. Meanwhile Jan 2007 to Jan 2008 fell something like 0.62 Deg K. (From the graph, feel free to look up the RSS data.)

        And, then just this year an article in Nature suggested cooling may occur until around 2020. That is Global Warming will cause cooling.

        The ozone hole hasn’t closed as predicted by Goddard Models. To explain the discrepancy, the model was adjusted and to no surprise they found with the changed modeling they now see the light and that the hole won’t start shrinking til 2018 and disappear til 2068.

        So the models say it will get hotter, and the models say it will get colder, and the models say it will stay the same. So then anything is possible. And of course, no one needed a model to know that, did they?

        >You cited several primary sources.

        Francey, et al discusses the use of Antarctic ice core samples as a proxy for estimating historic CO2 levels. Essentially the generally accepted figure I use in the calculations above.

        Stuiver, et al discusses the transfer of biospheric carbon to the atmosphere. It does not address as such the amount of CO2 contributed by humans.

        More pertinent to the discussion is Quay et al.

        Quay validates my information above while:
        Quay states “Compared to natural sources, our [human produced] contribution is small indeed.” and “Natural CO2 fluxes into and out of the atmosphere exceed the human contribution by more than an order of magnitude.” and “The rise of airborne CO2 falls short of the human-made CO2 emissions.”

        In the face of these “vexing” facts Quay et al presents the supposition that “the seemingly small human-made or `anthropogenic’ input is enough to disturb the delicate balance.” Quay presents isotropic evidence suggestive that such may be the case.

        Quey does not identify, isolate, or demonstrate such a mechanism. To my knowledge no follow on work to the 1992 paper has been done to isolate or demonstrate such a mechanism.

        > As I understand it, temeratures (sic) have not risen as much as the models for CO2 increase suggest because of the “temperature inertia” of planet earth. It takes a while for the effects to manifest, in large part because we have a lot of water and earth to takes up some of the slack by absorbing the released CO2.

        Thermal momentum is quite real but that is a lot to lump together so lets divide things up a bit.

        The atmosphere (air) has little thermal momentum, it heats and cools rapidly. CO2 linkied Global warming does Turn upon essentially a continuos increase in warming, absent a volcanic eruption, See Barnett et al, 2001, Figure 1. Also emphasized in the 2007 IPCC Summary for Policymakers, Figure SPM4

        As you said the oceans are another matter. Water has considerable thermal momentum. Water temperature rise will be delayed following an onset of warming, (any cause).

        Which leads to the following conjecture.

        The oceans both take up and release CO2. As temperature from the Dalton Minimum (1800 small ice age) has increased the oceans have warmed. Basic chemistry shows that CO2 solubility is an inverse function of temperature. Warming water releases CO2. This potential source of additional CO2 does have the advantage of being consistent with the observed fact that increasing CO2 follows temperature rise.

        To my knowledge there is no serious investigation of this possibility being undertaken.

        >But if you don’t accept that humans are the cause of the CO2 (and other greenhouse gas) increase, I can see why you would make the other arguments you have made. You just don’t buy into the problem. We’ll just have to agree to disagree on that. AS much as I want to wish it away, I can’t

        Absent the histrionics, I clearly demonstrated that some 15% of the CO2 increase was contributed by humans. The supposition that somehow an unspecified delicate balance has been upset making humans responsible for the other 85% has not been demonstrated.

        • dean

          John…you changed from 3.2% to 15%? On what basis? Are you going to change it upward again or is this your final answer?

          I think you are misinterpreting the models. They all say it will get warmer over the long term. They differ on how fast and how much, in part because they have to assume how much CO2 we will continue to pump out. They all acknowledge uncertainty. The past year has been a la nina, which as expected cooled things down temporarily. No climate scientist that i know of is saying we are not going to have ups and downs along the way. Hansen’s predictions (in 1988) for the 90s even assumed a temporary cooling from a volcanic erruption, and this actually happened.

          The central point is that the long term trendline has been up since the turn of the 20th century, interrupted by a decades long flat period that has been well attributed to increased aerosals, we cleaned things up and the trend grew, very much in evidence by having 17 of the hottest years of the past century over the past 20 years, and we will continue up in a jagged line, not a smooth one. 1998 was very likely a one year spike. it has already been more or less matched twice, and will be again and again (if the climate scientists thesis is correct).

          Yes, a recent published paper suggested that the next 10 years might see a moderation in the rate of warming, I think due to ocean curent cycles. If it turns out true, this is good with respect to slowing down glacial melting and sea level rise, among other things. But if it is used to lull us into further inaction it is not so good. Like oil prices going down in the 80s and 90s, which lulled some of us into buying Hummers and overly large homes. Oops.

          Your ocean CO2 time lag release as the explanation for atmospheric CO2 is intruiging, but seems suspicious to me. It is simply too easy to have been overlooked. The paleo climate time lags between warming and CO2 release took thousands of years, and have already been well explained. In modern times we are experiencing a much higher concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere prior to observed warming occuring, not after, so I just don’t see the connection. The rise in atmospheric CO2 has corresponded very well with the burning of fossil fuels and deforestation, and the role of CO2 as a greenhouse gas is not in dispute.

          With due respect John (and you have earned it,) I think you are searching for an easy way out so as to avoid the reality. I can’t prove this to you, but it is what I think.

          Here is my standard for “why we should stop worrying and learn to love global warming”

          A counter thesis (yours or someone elses) is put forward, is testable, is published in the peer review litterature, and is compelling enough to convince a large number of reputable climate scientists to cry uncle. What I have seen so far from the “skeptics” is a lot of “what ifs” thrown at the wall, including potshots at Hansen, in the hopes that something will stick, or that enough doubt can be sown that the public will be confused, and the politicians won’t act. I think time is running out on this strategy. In January 09 we get a new President, and any of the 3 possibilities left are going to initiate serious change, unless my above criteria is met in the meantime.

  • John in Oregon

    > *”John…you changed from 3.2% to 15%? On what basis? Are you going to change it upward again or is this your final answer?”*

    I did no such thing!!! Dean I know you read what I said better than that.
    3.2% of TOTAL PRESENT CO2 = 15% of the INCREASE in CO2 BM to PM
    Here are the U.S. Department of Energy, (October, 2000) data. Feel free to check my math and calculate % of total and % of increase. Show me the error.

    Pre industrial CO2 = 288 ppM
    Post industrial CO2 = 368.4 ppM
    Growth of CO2 = 80.4 ppM
    Natural (non-human) CO2 additions = 68.52 ppM
    Human generated fossil CO2 additions = 11.88 ppM

    > *”The past year has been a la nina, which as expected cooled things down temporarily”.*

    To address your comment here, let’s go back to your comments about Dr. Loehle’s temperature reconstruction. There you stated > *the “Medieval Warm Period’ is only documented as having occured (sic)in Europe, and thus other parts of the globe could have been relatively cool?”.*

    By this important question you raised, you clearly recognized the difference between weather (local) and climate (global). As you recall Dr Loehle’s work shows the Medieval Warming Period, the Little Ice Age and the Dalton Minimum were global events.

    So I was surprised to see you mistakenly reference ENSO (El Nino / La Nina), as an explanation for 1998 and 2007. The ENSO which modifies local weather, with its impact on US, central and south American weather, well know. It is not a global phenomena.

    The 2007 cooling is world wide, US, Europe, Asia, South Africa, record largest Arctic ice growth, record largest Antarctic ice growth. If the cooling were in the Americas only then might ENSO be an explanation. The same for 1998.

    BTW, 1998 was NOT a El Nino (warm) year. December 1997 was El Nino and December 1998 was La Nina (cold). Which makes 1998 a transition year from warm to cold. See https://www.pmel.noaa.gov/tao/elnino/la-nina-story.html

    I do not agree that with your thought that > *”2005, which more or less matched 98″.*

    Not true. In my math system the RSS 2005 temperature deviation of +0.51 is a bit more than half the 98 +0.901 deviation. Are you using the new new everyday math system? That might explain how .901 and .51 could more or less match.

    The point here is you can’t have 1998 be the hottest year ever when it’s convenient. Then, later when its convenient to de-emphasize the last decade cooling trend have 98 be “bogus”. Pick one, either 98 is hottest or it’s bogus. You can’t have both.

    Similarly, the models that say global warming will cause the climate to get warmer, stay the same, and get cooler. You can’t have all three to pick from, selecting whichever is convenient. Pick one and stay with it. You want everyone to believe the models foretell the future. Then show just one modeler that has an active validation process. If not, then they are no better than tea leaves, tarot cards, or crystal balls.

    Dean you state > *”In modern times we are experiencing a much higher concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere prior to observed warming occuring, (sic) not after, so I just don’t see the connection.”* and therefor *”corresponded very well with the burning of fossil fuels and deforestation, and the role of CO2 as a greenhouse gas is not in dispute.”*

    By this you mean that you believe CO2 increase precedes warming and that warming and Human CO2 correlate. Why don’t we look at the data. Using Had-CRUT3 for 1850 to date, and proxy prior, the data shows the following trends.

    First Temperature trends
    1800 – 1850 up
    1850 – 1910 flat
    1910 – 1940 up
    1940 – 1978 down
    1978 – 1998 up
    1998 – 2008 flat or down

    Human generated CO2, source Marland et al (2007) Oak Ridge National Laboratory, U.S. DOE
    1800 – 1850 0.05 Billion total metric tons carbon
    1850 – 1910 0.82 Billion total metric tons carbon
    1910 – 1940 1.29 Billion total metric tons carbon
    1940 – 1978 4.97 Billion total metric tons carbon (X3)
    1970 – date 8.10 Billion total metric tons carbon (X2)

    So what does the data show us? From 1800 to 1850 there was a trace of Human CO2 and temperatures rose. In the next 60 years Humans produced a limited increase of CO2 while temperatures remained flat. From 1910 to 1940 a small increase of CO2 was accompanied by an increase in temperatures. Then we got busy and between 1940 and 1978, in just over 30 years humans tripled the CO2 contributions and temperatures fell. It was not until 1978 that temperatures rose again, only to fall after 1998.

    So did warming precede CO2? Oh my yes, from 1800 to 1940 the globe warmed nicely.

    Does warming correlate with Human CO2. No, not at all.

    Lets look in detail and Dean I will use your explanations where applicable for sake of argument. So from;
    1800 – 1850 up Human produced CO2 was a trace something else caused warming
    1850 – 1910 flat The something else warming switched off.
    1910 – 1940 up Human produced CO2 was small something else caused warming
    1940 – 1978 down Human produced CO2 was very large and aerosols caused cooling.
    1978 – 1998 up Aerosols switched off and CO2 warming switched on
    1998 – 2008 flat or down because of la nina

    So in just the last 200 years we had something else, something else switched off, aerosols, CO2 and la nina. Five different temperature drivers is a nice correlation isnt it?

    Dean to support the catastrophic man-made global warming theory, you have to believe that some effect, presumably natural but never identified, drove temperatures through 1947 and then switched off, never to return, at the exact same moment that man began producing CO2 in earnest.

    You commented > *”the role of CO2 as a greenhouse gas is not in dispute.”*

    The fact that water vapor, CO2, and methane are greenhouse gases is not disputed. The role they play along with other climate factors is very much disputed. Even the IPCC has not estimated a magnitude or even a sign to one of these greenhouse gases.

    To be fair you did include deforestation > *”The rise in atmospheric CO2 has corresponded very well with the burning of fossil fuels and deforestation”*

    Deforestation does play a role in weather and carbon. Deforestation causing reduced perception and the shrinkage of Mt. Kilimanjaro Glaciers is an example of weather effects.

    Vegetation which grows and is consumed is carbon neutral. That’s the rational for ethanol as carbon neutral. Similarly a mature forest is also carbon neutral. A tree which falls and rots releases CO2.

    New forests reduce CO2, as does sustained yield harvest, which preserves the carbon in wood.

    Did you know the inventories of timber in the United States has increased 40% in the last 50 years? 2002, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service.

    You said > *”Your ocean CO2 time lag release as the explanation for atmospheric CO2 is intruiging, (sic) but seems suspicious to me. It is simply too easy to have been overlooked…”*

    Lets go back to Quay et al which you cited. I find this research intriguing as they show important questions about the uptake of old (fossil) carbon using isotope measurements. Quay’s comparative measurements suggest the underlying mechanisms need investigation. Such research has not been funded.

    In 1957, Revelle et al estimated that temperature-caused out-gassing of ocean CO2 would increase atmospheric CO2 by about 7% per °C temperature rise. No further out-gassing research has been funded. Revelle, R. and Suess, H. E. (1957) Tellus 9, 18-27.

    In a related matter you stated > *”A counter thesis (yours or someone elses) is put forward, is testable, is published in the peer review litterature (sic)…”*

    Please point to one instance where counter thesis research was funded. No fair using research by petroleum engineers, as you said earlier, that is to be ignored.

    Dean I have a thought as to why you seem to receive sharp comments from others. For example you said > *”2005, which more or less matched 98″*

    This is something like the third time you made a similar comment. Each time I cited data to show the inaccuracy. You don’t contest my data but then you say it again. It’s almost as if you say it often enough then facts don’t matter. I don’t think you intend it but it does feel as though my comments are beneath comment.

    The following are not CO2 counter thesis research. Each work however does produce results which call into question one or more aspects of the Human CO2 theory. This is just a small sample.

    Ren, G., Zhou, Y., Chu, Z., Zhou, J., Zhang, A., Guo, J. and Liu, X. 2008. Urbanization effects on observed surface air temperature trends in north China. Journal of Climate 21: 1333-1348.

    Lebel, T., Delclaux, F., Le Barbé and Polcher, J. 2000. From GCM scales to hydrological scales: rainfall variability in West Africa. Stochastic Environmental Research and Risk Assessment 14: 275-295.

    Woodhouse, C.A. 2003. A 431-yr reconstruction of western Colorado snowpack from tree rings. Journal of Climate 16: 1551-1561.

    Gadgil, S., Rajeevan, M. and Nanjundiah, R. 2005. Monsoon prediction – Why yet another failure? Current Science 88: 1389-1400.

    Lau, K.M., Shen, S.S.P., Kim, K.-M. and Wang, H. 2006. A multimodel study of the twentieth-century simulations of Sahel drought from the 1970s to 1990s. Journal of Geophysical Research 111: 10.1029/2005JD006281.

    Wentz, F.J., Ricciardulli, L., Hilburn, K. and Mears, C. 2007. How much more rain will global warming bring? Science 317: 233-235.

    Adler, R.F. et al. 2003. The version-2 Global Precipitation Climatology Project (GPCP) monthly precipitation analysis (1979-present). Journal of Hydrometeorology 4: 1147-1167.

    Allan, R.P. and Soden, B.J. 2007. Large discrepancy between observed and simulated precipitation trends in the ascending and descending branches of the tropical circulation. Geophysical Research Letters 34: 10.1029/2007GL031460.

    Wentz, R.J., Ricciardulli, L., Hilburn, K. and Mears, C. 2007. How much more rain will global warming bring? Science 317: 233-235.

    Xie, P. and Arkin, P.A. 1998. Global monthly precipitation estimates from satellite-observed outgoing longwave radiation. Journal of Climate 11: 137-164.

    Yu, L. and Weller, R.A. 2007. Objectively analyzed air-sea heat

    • dean

      John

      The global climate trend line I refer to is from CRU. It starts in 1855.
      1855-1880: slightly up
      1880-1910: mostly down with dips
      1910-1940: steeply up with dips along the way.
      1940-1980: more or less flat with a dip in the middle
      1980-2005: steeply up, with a one-year spike in 1998 that may or may not have been matched in 05.
      According to Nasa, 2007 tied with 1998.
      https://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Newsroom/NasaNews/2008/2008011626028.html

      98 is an anomaly that has not interrupted the trend at all. It was a single year high spike. Every single year since the mid 80s has been higher than every single year between about 1945 and 1975. The 8 warmest years in the NASA record ALL OCCURED SINCE 1998. And the 14 warmest years in the entire record ALL OCCURED SINCE 1990.

      See: https://gristmill.grist.org/story/2006/11/4/175028/329 for the CRU chart I am referring to.

      NASA initially said 05 was warmer than 98, but may have since revised their data slightly downward.
      https://www.nasa.gov/vision/earth/environment/2005_warmest.html

      97-98 was an el nino year. Not a la nina. Because the Pacific is so darn big, el ninos and la ninas influence weather across much of the globe: both Americas, Australia, Southeast Asia, and East Africa.

      Yes…I’m well aware of the increase in forests in the US over the past century. There is some dispute over whether forest harvest versus forest conservation is better for CO2 storage. In my opinion. both contribute, but differently.

      John…thanks for the tip. But I think I recieve “sharp” comments from others for a different reason. I think this issue, global warming, fundamentally challenges the conservative world view that free markets are the be all end all, that goevernments are inherently bad or useless, and that environment does not matter much. While the sorts of changes society neds to make to cope with global warming seem reasonable to a liberal like myself (smaller cars, more alternative energy, more bicycling and transit, etc…) they seem daunting to conservatives. It has nothing to do with evidence, or how I present it, or how I respond to your counter evidence.

      To sum up, I don’t “know” that the earth is warming and that it is caused by us. BAsed on the evidence as developed by climate scientists andpresented through secondary sources, I have come around to believing this is the case and that the risk of doing nothing outweighs the risk of taking reasonable and prudent steps towards change. I hope we find out the scientists erred, and that the earth is not rapidly warming. But I don’t think hope is a good strategy.

      • dean

        John…to add a small point (if you are still out there). Your citations say a lot. The point I take is there is very little in the published litterature that calls into question the core thesis of global warming. There are questions around the margins, but nothing that amounts to a credible counter thesis. Would you agree?

  • John in Oregon

    The human CO2 warming assertion is that since the industrial revolution human generated CO2 is the cause of global warming. The industrial revolution is generally considered to be 1800 so we need to start back that far. I used Had-CRUT3 as it is, among other things, generally recognized and has the advantage of going back in time. The other reasons for this choice later. I used proxy data fill in the missing pre 1850 data. So adding your suggested modifications.

    1800 – 1855: up
    1855 – 1880: slightly up
    1880 – 1910: mostly down with dips
    1910 – 1940: steeply up with dips along the way.
    1940 – 1980: more or less flat with a dip in the middle
    1980 – 1998: up
    1998 – 2008: flat or down.

    Let me take a short detour here for a moment. Where we depart on the data is 98 – 08.

    First lets look at three of the four recognized temperature compilations. Two of these, University of Alabama at Huntsville (UAH) and Remote Sensing Systems (RSS) are direct measurement systems which are precise, repeatable and more free of error causing influences. The defect of these is they require technology that only recently existed. With a longer record these would be the “gold” standard. The third, Had-CRUT3 is a more conventional compilation and has a history of stability while providing a reasonably lengthy history.

    Here is the important part. Over the last 30 years or so UAH, RSS, and Had-CRUT are consistent with each other. They each show similar results. That is they each tend validate the other.

    Validation example, I have a light bulb and wish to know its wattage. I can:
    1) measure the applied voltage, and current to calculate the wattage from Voltage X Current
    2) measure the light with a photocell.
    3) measure the heat produced with a calorimeter, or
    4) measure the wattage with a watt meter.

    If measurement 1 = 97 Watts, measurement 2 = 83 Watts, measurement 3 = 103 Watts and measurement 4 = 101 Watts, then it can be said that measurements 1, 3, and 4 agree and validate each other. Measurement 3 is an outlier and in question. As a measurement that lies outside the norm it’s therefor discarded as erroneous. This is how UAH, RSS, and Had-CRUT tend to be self validating.

    Reference 98 – 08 I would be nervous to jump strongly on the “or lower” part of “flat or lower” for two reasons. One should be careful to avoid seeing a trend based on future data. The second relates to something you mentioned. Both 98 (high) and 07 (low) are outliers. The January 07 to January 08 temp drop of more than -0.6 degree K (Satellite), and -0.45 (Had-CRUT) may give a false impression of a lower trend. 98 – 08 flat is however quite defensible.

    Now back to the 1800 – 2008 temperature trends. Including your refinements doesn’t change what I said about the lack of a relationship between human CO2 and temperature.

    > *NASA initially said 05 was warmer than 98, but may have since revised their data slightly downward.*

    This is why I discard GSS (or GISS) as an outlier. First 98 was warmer, then 34, then 34-98 coequal, then 05, but not 05.

    > *97-98 was an el nino year. Not a la nina.*

    I assume you are talking about the 98 calendar year, end of December 07 to end of December 08. That’s the same 98 warm year period. Take a look at the graphic at https://www.pmel.noaa.gov/tao/elnino/la-nina-story.html. It clearly shows December 97 warm and December 98 cold. Calendar year 98 was a transition year warm to cold.

    > *Because the Pacific is so darn big, el ninos and la ninas influence weather across much of the globe:*

    If by this you mean Pacific Decadal Oscillation or PDO then yes its possible. PDO is a long period (decade) large area cycle. If you mean ENSO not so likely. ENSO is short period and equator concentrated.

    > *Every single year since the mid 80s has been higher than every single year between about 1945 and 1975. The 8 warmest years in the NASA record ALL OCCURRED (sic) SINCE 1998. And the 14 warmest years in the entire record ALL OCCURED (sic) SINCE 1990.*

    This is one of those true and misleading. Further it’s not proper statistically. The following statements are also similarly true.

    1) Its been warmer since the mid 80s than the previous cold period.
    2) 1998 was as warm as 1934.
    3) For the short period of 150 years the last decade is warmer.
    4) The years 990 to 1010 were warmest years in the last 1000 years.
    5) The years since 1998 were warmer than the little ice age.

    > *But I don’t think hope is a good strategy.*

    What’s wrong with hope, its good to go for Barack Obama. Sorry just couldn’t resist teasing you.

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